Patrick Taylor grew up in a compound in Sierra Leone, West Africa. All of the kids were cared for by all the adults, creating an environment of attention and love from all directions. He was taught to cook, split wood, take care of the animals, shop at the market, fetch water from the river, do the laundry at the river and dig a well When the civil war erupted, his family fled their country where they spent a couple of years learning how to survive by starting with nothing and learning what life was like being a refugee.
At age fourteen he moved to the USA with his family, and the saga of never-quite-fitting-in continued. His African American school mates reminded him constantly that he had an accent and was African, not African American. He was judged by the brand of sneaker he wore. His white school mates lumped him with African Americans because of the color of his skin and tended to judge him more for what kind of car he drove than what kind of sneaker he wore.
Moving to the USA was a bit of a shock. Patrick says he believed the movies he saw, and didn’t understand that Rambo wasn’t exactly real. The most amazing thing was the fact that the lights were always on! Where he grew up, there was no electricity unless there was a generator, which was costly and rare.
Today, Patrick is one of Cappy’s boxers. He says, “I always wanted to box. I really like the discipline, the training, learning the technique behind defense. It’s like dancing – there’s a rhythm.” He elaborates on how he uses shadow boxing to empty his mind and get in the flow of himself.
Preferring personal one-on-one training over the group classes, Patrick settled into his training routine. Yet, he kept thinking if only his co-workers could share in the experience. He works for Facebook, a business that encourages its employees to participate in activities as a group. He got himself a team of co-workers and they trekked to the CD for a boxing experience at Cappy’s.
Patrick didn’t stop there! He brought Cappy’s to Facebook for Off-site training. Now, he gets to work out with his co-workers and is only five minutes from the gym.
He says, “Facebook is all about moving fast and breaking things”. When asked to explain, he adds, “Put simply, you shouldn’t be scared to make a mistake. Part of moving ahead is learning from your mistakes. Be the nerd means tapping your inner creativity and using it. Don’t be scared of being different. Everything is built off of feedback. We all give and receive feedback, it’s how we know whether we are heading in the right direction or need to pivot. It’s just like boxing, making constant adjustments, staying relaxed in the pocket, being aware and making small adjustments to get an edge!”